View Full Version : Since We're Discussing Door Handles

09-29-2010, 07:32 PM
Woody's "chopped" post led me to wonder about what door handles would fit in an Avanti. NOS Avanti exterior handles are one of the unobtanium items that make cheap Avantis insanely expensive. Jon Myer sells repops at a "reasonable" $225 apiece -- if a Miata handle, for example, would fit and work, that would both look cool and save about 350 clams. Anybody have any thoughts?

09-29-2010, 07:48 PM
There might be a Jaguar application that would work

09-30-2010, 01:41 AM
Sorry Guys! I know very little about Avanti's and this is the second question that has come out of my posts in the past week. Both regarding doors. One about power windows and now door handles.
So it is time to find out more about Avanti's, please excuse my ignorance. But, need to know. Are avanti doors steel or fiberglass? What are the physical dimensions of the doors and the roll up window size.
Hope I can give some imput here as I do have some knowledge to share but need to know what we are dealing with first.
Good Roads

09-30-2010, 04:33 AM
I hope that progress on the the Avanti project is continuing. The dovetail set-up is pretty unique, so making a swap could get complicated. Realistically, the amount of work required to modify the doors and linkage would far exceed the cost savings.

09-30-2010, 10:38 AM
IIRC, the Avanti door latch was purchased from Mercedes, or else the same supplier was used. The door lock is incorporated into the handle bezel.

Since Avanti doors are fiberglass, filling the hole for the old handle, and making one for the new handle, and making both changes structurally sound, so they won't crack under use, would be quite a chore.

If I were going to attempt this, I'd do the full meal deal, and install bear-claw latches at the same time, and fabricate a thin steel back-up plate to go inside the back of the door, wrapping around far enough on the face for a handle, if I wanted to use one.

What would be real trick: no exterior handles, with electric locks controlled by a magnetic card reader, like used to read ATM cards, embedded in the fiberglass just below the rear quarter window. Make a special card, and just swipe it over the magic spot, and the door pops open. But that's show-car stuff. I don't know if I'd want to drive a car without door handles. What happens if I'm in a Wal-Mart parking lot, and fall victim to a hear attack, and a paramedic sees me, and cannot open the door to reach me? Or if I'm in an wreck, and rescuers can't readily get me out? I hate those flippin' automatic locks that you see on so many modern cars for the same reason, and would disable them on any car I own.

09-30-2010, 02:35 PM
3990I agree. Too much fiberglass work 3989to be cost effective to use non Avanti handles.
But this is what you steel door guys need if you are considering Miata door handles.

09-30-2010, 05:57 PM

S.O.P. they bust the windows........then get to you.

09-30-2010, 06:12 PM
....and in the case of a wreck with inoperable doors they break out the jaws of life, so if the door doesn't open, they will cut it loose.

09-30-2010, 09:09 PM
Hi, Jim,

Body work is done. I painted the body, which went great until the clearcoat turned into citrus fruit. I have sanded the old clear off and am turning the job over to professionals. Once that's done I can get into serious reassembly. I still need a bunch of part, including tail light buckets, door handles, and some interior trim.

Thanks for asking. I appreciate the support from the forum.


Thanks for asking.